Thursday, 30 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - My Shoe Wishlist

Eep, am I making a fashion post? Normally a wishlist of any kind should be easy to do -- but there's nothing I've been really burning for lately! That being said, both Marie Claire and Novo have had loads of shoes that have caught my eye lately and even though I'm not normally a shoe person, I would absolutely love to have these!

Zinda mid heel pumps | $269 -- Such a steep price, but how cute are they? They remind me of a vintage-style heel, so I think they'd go really nicely with the right 50s era dress.

Rapisardi mid heel sandals | $129 -- These also come in black, which others will prefer, but I personally like these colours. I have a couple of dresses that fit these shades of blue and green, and it would be nice to have shoes other than black flats to wear them with!

Boston Babe Roman W mid heel sandals | $139 -- These are actually on sale for $69 at the moment, and I think I'm in love with them. They're a cute alternative to flats... I might just end up buying them!

Taranto Katie mid heel courts | $169 -- These are on sale as well, down to $79. I think they're a great evening shoe, although I'm not completely sold on the look of the heel. I don't doubt that they're not the first kind of shoe with it, but I've never seen them before! Are they supposed to look like they screw out?

Neo high heel sandals | $190 -- How beautiful are these shoes?! I'm normally not a girl for shoes with bows, but these are awesome! I have a kind of gothic-themed dress that would probably look really good with these one. I'd just have to make sure I don't somehow accidentally break my ankle if the ribbons come undone!

Guess Adal high heel pumps | $169 -- And these! These are also so gorgeous -- and on sale for $99. To be honest, I probably couldn't pull off heels like this, but a girl can dream, right?

Robert Robert Flirt high heel sandals | $329 -- So, before your eyes fall out at the price, let me just say: they're on sale for $129. That's still very expensive, but, y'know, I think I would pay that for these as well. I think these would also go well with the gothic-themed dress, although I might need to practice walking around in them for a while first. Me + spikes = public danger.

Hey-Sailor flats | $49.95 -- I love flats, and now that it's getting towards summer, stripes seem to be in! I have a dress with stripes that would match these shoes perfectly. I'm not too keen about the ankle strap, but that's probably an evil I could live with. These also come in red stripes, and plain black.

Marilyn peep toe heels | $79.95 -- I love vintage fashion, so these heels immediately stood out to me. I think my mum actually bought herself a pair... If it wasn't these, then it was a style very similar. If only we were the same shoe size, I'd have pinched borrowed these ages ago! These also come in hot pink.

Prince strappy heels | $89.95 -- I love these, but I don't think I could wear them without breaking my ankles or putting people within a one kilometre radius in the hospital. If you're into clubbing (which I'm not), I think these might actually be nice heels to go dancing in.

That's it for Day 8 of the 12 Day Blogger Challenge! Let me know what you think of these shoes in the comments section!

Sarah xo

12 Day Blogger Challenge - My Current Favourite Springtime Look

This post is going to be a little late by the time it goes up -- I blame the potatoes for taking so long to cook at dinner tonight! However, as it's still technically Wednesday at time of writing... I don't think it matters too much.

Amy's challenge for Day 7 of the 12 Day Blogger Challenge was to do a seasonal-inspired post, so I thought I'd share my favourite, easy springtime look! It uses really pretty golden colours that I think make it easily tweakable for those who are in the middle of autumn. I think my favourite thing about this look is that it's relatively fuss-free -- there are so many days at the moment where I cannot be bothered going through a full make-up routine, especially when my skin's going nuts.

So let's get to it!

Sarah a la Plain Jane
Thanks to a hearty, healthy diet of Wokka noodle boxes, iced tea and chocolate, my skin's been experiencing intermittent bursts of ick, however I feel like it's been a lot better due to this next product in particular.

I started by using the Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector instead of a primer -- it's a product I'm trying to get a feel for whilst trying to keep this particular regime quite easy. I got this in my Parcel by Marie Claire, and I really believe that it has improved my skin texture somewhat. I'm not someone who notices a difference in her skin unless it's remarkably different, so for me, it means something. Then, instead of foundation, I applied Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector in "Light" -- this particular BB Cream is suited for combination/oily skin, and I quite like the finish it leaves on my skin. If I'm in a hurry, I'll quickly smooth it into my face with my fingers.

While waiting for the BB cream to settle a little, I moved onto my eyes.

For this particular look, the hero is the Chi Chi Brights palette (one that I picked up a while ago and consequently have been planning to review for ages). It's a great moderately-priced palette by an Australian company and although I had my misgivings originally, I've since found it to be solid palette. I started by using Too Faced Shadow Insurance all over my eyelids. It's not my favourite primer but I find it works quite well with the Chi Chi shadows!

I used the light yellow, bronze and copper shades from the palette -- unfortunately none of the shades have names -- and although they don't seem (to my eye anyway) to immediately go together as well as shades from other palettes I have, they do blend together really well. I packed the light yellow shade on the inner corner of my eyelid and around my tear duct area with my ring finger. Next, I took the bronze on an eye shadow brush and packed it onto the centre of my lid. Finally, with the other side of the same brush, I packed the copper on the outer edge of my eye lid, winging it out just a touch.

Pretty easy, right?

What I found both pleasant and surprising was that I didn't need to do any blending! The colours blended together very well on their own, and the gradient seems, to me, quite natural.

Following the easiest eye shadow application ever, I did a simple, natural wing with the Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner (also known as the greatest liner in human history -- but that's one girl's humble opinion), then applied a few coats of L'Oreal Paris Butterfly Wings Mascara.

The next step was to finish off the rest of my face. I'm given to understand that BB cream here is usually rather thin compared to others elsewhere in the world, so the coverage might not be too full, depending on how heavy your hand is. You don't need to put any powder on top of BB cream, so I usually don't, but today I wanted just a touch more coverage. I buffed in MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Powder in "Medium" over my skin, then contoured my cheeks with MAC Bronzing Powder in "Matte Bronze". Blush is sometimes a bit of a tricky decision, but I ended up going with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in "Luminous Flush". A peachy or coral blush would work really well, but I felt like applying a very light, natural pink.

Brows? What brows? You can do your brows however you like, but for something nice and easy, I didn't. I just wiped them over with a bit of wet tissue to remove any makeup that might've gotten on them.

Liner on, mascara on, face finished... Easy, see?
The final, and often the most fun part of this look... the lipstick! Even though the eye shadow is orange-y/gold, I do kind of feel like you could pair it with many different shades of lipstick, depending on what you plan on wearing.

Now, you could go for something orange or coral, which I feel like is the obvious choice...

Wearing Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate in "12"

Or, perhaps, when you decided to try on and then remove as many lipsticks as I did, you'll want to put on something sheer and hydrating.

Wearing Lipstick Queen Medieval Tinted Treatement

Curious to see how other colours look with this makeup? Take a look at the products that I used below!

An army of lip products!
 Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick -- "Starry-Eyed"
 MAC Rebel
 MAC Viva Glam Rihanna I
 MAC Damn Glamorous
 Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids -- "Hot Plum"
 CoverGirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm -- "Haute Pink Twist"
 Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick -- "Piccadilly Pink"
I hope you enjoyed this easy but cute look of mine! What kind of lipstick would you wear with this?
Sarah xo

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - What I'm Currently Reading

This is probably the most disappointing post I've had to write in a long time. Why? Because, truthfully, I'm not really reading anything at the moment! I do have readings to get through for uni of course, so I'm getting through those -- but sadly there's nothing that I'm actually reading for pleasure!

If you want to know which is the latest book that has been causing me to tear my hair out, it's this one:

When quality veracity is shoddy, apply a filter.
Yup. The Norton Anthology of English Literature - Volume D: The Romantic Period. This book bothers me for many, many reasons.

For a start, it's a chock-a-block full of poetry.

I hate poetry.

Granted, there are actually excerpts from books in here, some of which are actually really good, but I cannot stand the majority of the poetry in here. I'm disappointed, because I feel like the class I had to buy this for had so much more to offer with a book like this, but they focused on more traditional topics and poets. There's nothing wrong with tradition, don't get me wrong, but here's the thing:

I'm not a poetic person.

Most of the time, I can't understand what I'm reading. It's not the language or the words -- I can comprehend those fine -- but I often fail to understand what it is I'm reading.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule.

Have you ever read "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? It's thrilling, it's exciting, it's downright creepy -- and it makes sense. Or how about just about anything by Robert Burns? Perhaps it's because I can't read it aloud without sounding like a Highlander, but I think it's hilarious.

Wordsworth, on the other hand? Wordsworth can get out.

That's what I've currently been reading lately, and it has been a roller coaster!

What have you been reading lately?

Sarah xo

Monday, 27 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - My Most Loved Possessions

Deciding which of your possessions are your most loved can sometimes be tricky. What is it that you love the most? Why do you love it? How much sentimental value does it hold for you? Why would you pick one item over another item?


I've had Flopsy since the day I was born. I don't know who gave her the name Flopsy -- it's probably something I should ask my mother -- or who gave her to me or why, but this fluffy pink rabbit has had a permanent spot in my room since always. She's more or less been my best stuffed animal friend for the past 22 years -- I've hugged her when I've been happy, cried on her when I've been sad, and I'm pretty sure I've also been sick on her too (just not in the last decade). Her pink fur has faded, bleached from all the sunlight she gets sitting on my windowsill, she's had to be repaired a couple of times, but I'll always keep her with me.


Obviously another stuffed animal, his name is Salem because of the cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch -- but I didn't name him after that Salem, he is that Salem. Back when my age was still a single digit, a Sabrina the Teenage Witch-themed magazine subscription started making the rounds -- you know the kind: pay x amount per issue and get a particular collectable item with each issue. The whole thing revolved around makeup, which is relatively ironic, because I was more in it for the Sabrina thing, not the makeup. Anyway, occasionally the magazine sent out a bonus gift -- usually an additional makeup purse to store the makeup in -- but one time it was this Salem cat and, being a Tiny Cat Lady, I had to have him! He's spent a lot of time in the sun, so some of his fur has kind of bleached to a kind of blackcurrant colour, but he's another one that I'll keep around forever.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I often say that Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite Harry Potter book, but this is my favourite Harry Potter book, if you get what I mean. This was given to me a long time ago by someone I used to know and I loved it because the it was a hard cover (meaning expensive) and it was American (meaning hard to come by). I have most of the Harry Potter books in paperback as well, but when it comes time to read Order of the Phoenix, I immediately reach for this copy. I feel like the dark blue colours were perfect for the dark tone of the book -- and it's excellent for getting the cast of Harry Potter to sign, which I have started doing!

I'm Okay -- The Shoe

Everybody knows I love Jena Malone. It's a basic fact of my life. Naturally, it goes without saying that I love The Shoe, the band that she's in, though I will admit that I was very apprehensive about it initially. When I first heard that Jena could sing, the only place you could find her music was in the bowels of Myspace (and Myspace had been long since dead) -- and when I finally found it... it wasn't for me. When The Shoe released the song Dead Rabbit Hopes, I was surprised by how good it was, and I immediately connected with it. This EP is important to me because the songs came about at a time when they were the exact kind of songs that I needed -- deep, emotional lyrics that I could relate to but with a tune that meant I could play it in the background when studying and not be distracted. It's perfect easy listening for me.

My Grandparents' Wedding Photo

The day was January 1st, 1966. Somewhere in Australia that I keep forgetting (but do have recorded in the proper places) a man named Francis married a woman named Marija, and they were officially on their path to having the greatest granddaughter they'd ever hope for. The original photos that I have are really rather small, and in cute little tiny frames. I love old photos and seeing when my grandparents were younger -- it makes their lives much more precious to me in the present day.

Ancestry subscription

This is a weird one because it's not a physical material possession. It's an online subscription to -- because, being an amateur genealogist, you sometimes need bells and whistles where bells and whistles are due. The subscription I have is very expensive, but it's definitely not one for everyone -- most people purchase subscriptions to access records based on a particular geographic area. Me, I've gotta have the whole world at my fingertips. The reason for having this on my list is simple: I love history and I love family history. A professional genealogist is the profession I'd choose if I could be anything, but sadly the money isn't there for me. I might one day get myself some minor "qualifications" and do it on the side, but at the moment I need to set myself up with a sustainable career.

Although I value all of the things that I own, these are the items that I'd grab first if I were in a hurry to leave. What are your most loved possessions?

Sarah xo

Sunday, 26 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - My Top 5 Favourite Films

The challenge for Day 4 has been a tough one. I love movies -- having a first and second favourite is easy for me, but then extending it to five... It becomes much tougher! There were many, many other films that I could've included in this list -- Beverly Hills Cop or Die Hard, for example -- and the only reason that they missed out is that they weren't the first five films to come to mind.

So, going from least to most favourite, my Top 5 favourite films are...

5. Bridget Jones' Diary

It's only natural that a quality film like Bridget Jones' Diary should be on this list. It's got it all: loud friends, a love triangle between two of the hottest guys in the last quarter century (Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, as if you needed to ask), and a protagonist that most women can relate to. If you haven't seen this film yet, I suggest you calmly throw your computer out the window immediately, buy it, then watch it -- with popcorn.

4. Austenland

You don't need to be a Jane Austen fanatic to enjoy this movie -- you don't even need to like Jane Austen at all! This film is about an American woman who is (un?)fortunately obsessed with everything Jane Austen -- perhaps more specifically, Pride and Prejudice and the dose of Colin Firth that it brings with it. Suddenly realising that she's single, in her mid-30s and with no meaningful plans in her life, she decides to spend her life savings (more or less) on a trip to Austenland, a place where Jane Austen enthusiasts can immerse themselves in an authentic Jane Austen experience. Starring Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, JJ Feild (hello, sailor) and James Callis, you'll have a great experience watching whether you love or loathe Austen herself.

3. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

It was essentially Pride and Prejudice that made me the person I am today, so it was, without a doubt, an obvious choice on this list. For a version that's good for a Girls' Night In, the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is the safest bet -- but there are loads of other versions, depending on your tastes. There's the 1940 black-and-white film starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, the 1995 mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (although that will take you all night to get through), Bride and Prejudice, which is a Bollywood remake, or Lost in Austen,  a re-write starring Jemima Rooper about a 21st-century woman who accidentally time travels to the pages of Austen's book.

2. Love Actually

This was my favourite film ever until about a couple of years ago. I don't see how it couldn't be on anyone's list, especially if you're after a feel-good night. You've got all kinds of different love stories showing all kinds of different love. There's Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant ( there a pattern here?), Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman... Just the cast alone should draw you in.

1. Silver Linings Playbook

My favourite film of all time. This was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 2012 -- it won 49 of the various 102 awards it was nominated for over 2012 and 2013 -- and if you haven't watched it by now, then you really should. It's not quite a chick flick -- I think of it more as a chick flick for guys. The films deals with the issues of losing and finding yourself really well, and I connected with it the first time I watched it. If you're not into such themes, it's probably just worth watching for Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper -- because why not?

What are your Top 5 favourite films? Do you like any of these?

Sarah xo

Saturday, 25 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - Quote of the Day

Amy's challenge for today was a...

Day 03: Quote of the Day

My current "Quote of the Day" (and, thus, the thing I'm most likely to shout out at any given moment) is:

Original picture can be found here. It was then edited (crappily) by me (who has zero skills).
Why is such a vapid quote my quote of choice? I could've picked something by Jena Malone or Marilyn Monroe or Aristotle, or pulled something inspirational once uttered by an anonymous entity. As it happens, I felt like nothing I was looking at truly encapsulated what it was I was feeling.

Nothing except this.

Of course, it's great to have deep and meaningful quotes that provide our soul with the chicken soup it needs to fight the bad guys and live another day -- but favourite quotes should be fun, too!

If the edited picture I've put up isn't enough of a clue, this comes from the show Selfie, which started a few weeks ago. Who is Linda? Linda is one of the most minor of all minor characters -- and yet I feel as though she's kind of made a background icon of herself. You know what I mean: that person who's not front and centre, but still manages to make you go, "Heeeeey! It's you!" as though they were world-famous and popping in for a cameo.

I like to break out "Don't be jelly, Linda" for just about anything. Just met Jenna Coleman? Don't be jelly, Linda. Ate the best sandwich you've had all week? Don't be jelly, Linda. Started tap-dancing on the train? Don't be jelly, Linda.

Whilst the original context of "Don't be jelly, Linda" in Selfie is about the fact that the main character, Eliza, got herself upgraded to first class on a plane flight, it's also worth remembering that sometimes you shouldn't sweat the small stuff. Was Linda bothered that Eliza scored an upgrade? Not particularly. Even if people are flaunting their little achievements all over the place (be it Facebook or Instagram or a proper conversation), making you wonder what you're doing with your life, the key is: don't be jealous.

Linda isn't all that jealous of Eliza's life -- after all, Linda's the one with real friends, a respected position in the workplace and life that she's happy with. While you may not graduate from university at the same time as your old classmates from high school, while you may work on a checkout while friends (somehow) travel all over the world, while you may not earn as much being a teacher as you would a surgeon, if you're truly happy with what you have going on in your life... There's no reason to be a green-eyed monster with the people around you. You're every bit as amazing as them, and they're probably just as jealous of you!

So don't be jelly, Linda.

Sarah xo

Friday, 24 October 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - Product Review: Rimmel Wonder'full Mascara

The second challenge set by Amy is to...

Day 2: Review a product, service or a brand.

So, to kick it off, I'm going to give a review of Rimmel's Wonder'full Mascara -- and it's relatively long overdue.

Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara

For a long time, I never thought anything would be able to beat L'Oreal's Butterfly Wings mascara when it came to Hulk-smashing volume and length -- until I met Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara. I've had a dalliance of affairs with the two, and then Rimmel London threw in another player...

The Rimmel Wonder'full mascara is the first drugstore mascara that's impressed me on the first use. It was released in the UK and US relatively recently, and it came out in Australia not long ago either. I got mine on sale for about $12.50 from Woolworths about a month ago or so, but they're currently on sale for about $9! (Which is half price, so WOO!)

Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara

The big selling-point with this mascara is the fact that it contains Argan oil. That itself is not a new product, but the hair and beauty world seems to be obsessed with it -- and this is, to my knowledge, the first drugstore mascara to contain it. So what exactly is it supposed to do?

First of all, let me say that Argan is not to be confused with argon. One is an oil derived from a tree, used mostly to condition and soften hair; the other is a colourless, odourless gas, produced from the radioactive decay of an isotope of potassium. If your mascara contains argon oil instead of Argan oil, I suggest you send it away for scientific analysis then go out and buy a new mascara.

Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara

I'm very impressed by the amount of volume that the formula of the mascara gives. The wands itself appears to be relatively cylindrical, with evenly dispersed rows of bristles. I like to use at least two coats to get the amount of volume that I need, although I'm not sure that it will do much in terms of length for those with naturally short lashes. It doesn't flake or feel heavy on my eyes -- which can sometimes happen with the Better Than Sex mascara -- and I also find that I don't usually get it all over my eyelids, which is a relief. Lord knows that it's not a normal day in makeup for me if I don't get mascara on my eyelids.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure how well the Argan oil works. I'm nowhere near an aficionado when it comes to hair, so it would be worth gathering opinions from those who are, but I don't think there is any great benefit to my lashes. When the mascara is applied, the lashes are relatively soft when you consider that you're coating them in magic black stuff -- I've definitely used mascara that makes my eyelashes stiff -- but I haven't noticed any real difference when I've taken the mascara off. If, however, what I've said about relative softness is the effect of the Argan oil, then by all means, it does an alright job.

Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara

I have also noticed that occasionally the applicator feels a little scratchy when I pull it against my lashes. I do not think that this is a fault of the product, nor that it is caused by the product -- the L'Oreal  Butterfly Wings mascara has done this to me on occasion too, and I think that it's because I probably haven't gotten all of the mascara off the night before -- which basically means I'm trying to apply fresh mascara over remains of dried mascara. Despite this, my lashes don't clump, so it gets a tick from me for that!

Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara

Overall, I say that this is a solid mascara that is definitely worth a place in your collection. If you're looking for a mascara that gives your eyelashes a bit of oomph, but would rather save your dollars then spend them on Too Faced or L'Oreal Paris mascaras (and, perhaps surprisingly, the two are closer in price than you may think), then the Rimmel London Wonder'full Mascara is what you want.

Padawan Product Rating: A-

Have you used this mascara before? What are your thoughts on Argan oil?

Sarah xo